Comorbidities in pulmonary tuberculosis cases in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, India: Opportunities for intervention

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Abstract

Background: We aimed to define characteristics of TB patients in Puducherry and two districts of Tamil Nadu, India and calculate the population attributable fractions (PAF) of TB from malnutrition and alcohol. Methods: New smear-positive TB cases were enrolled into the Regional Prospective Observational Research for Tuberculosis (RePORT India) cohort. Census and National Family Health Survey data were used for comparisons. Results: Data were analyzed for 409 participants enrolled between May 2014-June 2016; 307 (75.1%) were male, 60.2% were malnourished (body mass index [BMI] <18.5 kg/m2), and 29.1% severely malnourished (BMI <16). “Hazardous” alcohol use (based on AUDIT-C score) was reported by 155/305 (50.8%) of males. Tuberculosis cases were more likely than the Puducherry population to be malnourished (62.6% v 10.2% males and 71.7% v 11.3% of females; both p<0.001), and male cases were more likely to use alcohol than male non-cases (84.4% v 41%; p < .001). The PAF of malnutrition was 57.4% in males and 61.5% in females; the PAF for alcohol use was 73.8% in males and 1.7% in females. Conclusions: Alcohol use in men and malnutrition are helping drive the TB epidemic in Southern India. Reducing the TB burden in this population will require efforts to mitigate these risk factors.

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Hochberg, N. S., Sarkar, S., Horsburgh, C. R., Knudsen, S., Pleskunas, J., Sahu, S., … Roy, G. (2017). Comorbidities in pulmonary tuberculosis cases in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, India: Opportunities for intervention. PLoS ONE, 12(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183195

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